Raymond A. Miller Jr.
A love of metal construction and a competitive
work ethic earns Miller a spot in the Hall of Fame
"I was actually hired as a salesman through an employment
agency," says Raymond Miller Jr. of his start at Fleming Building
Co. "I had 90 days to produce or be released." Not only was Miller
not released, but under his eventual leadership, Fleming Building
Co., Tulsa, Okla., has grown and prospered, becoming one of the
leading metal building contracting companies in the country. During
his more than 50 years of employment and ownership, Fleming has
specialized in industrial and commercial construction and been a
Butler Career Builder for more than 30 years. Miller also served on
Butler Manufacturing's Builder Advisory Council for three separate
terms (1990-1994, 1999-2002, 2004-2007).
For those accomplishments and his role in driving the industry
toward greater professionalism, Raymond A. Miller, Jr. has been
selected for the Metal Construction Hall of Fame.
What were some of Miller's early influences and career
motivators? "Mr. Fleming sent me to Butler's School, which was a
great motivator," Miller says. "The initiation into the world of
pre-engineered metal buildings has stayed with me for 47 years.
Butler introduced me to the design- build process 45 years ago,
which has continued to be an excellent advantage in attracting
customers, many of which are repeat."
Fleming is currently licensed and/or registered in 42 states,
having constructed projects in 39 states, and self-performs
pre-engineered building erection nationwide. In addition to
customerdriven projects for Fleming, Miller has also lead an
investment group for the past 25 years, developing speculative and
build-to-suit projects utilizing pre-engineered buildings,
supporting the industry where other developers remain in the
"conventional" market segment.
Fleming has been Butler Manufacturing's National High-Volume
Builder-of-the-Year four times: 2000, 2001, 2006 and 2007. Fleming
is consistently ranked in the top 10 of Metal Construction News'
Top 100 Metal Builders, having achieved a rank of #4 in 2001, #6 in
2004, #2 in 2005 and #1 in 2011. To date, in addition to the
countless buildings that they've developed for themselves, Fleming
has also erected over 55 million square feet of pre-engineered
buildings for Wal-Mart alone.
A recipe for success
"What's important to me about the metal construction industry is
when I started in 1965, metal construction was a
'shade-and-shelter' business," says Miller. "The industry received
less than 12 percent of the Dodge Awards. Now we have over 50
percent of the market and have developed very sophisticated and
competitive systems. The best part is the MR-24 standing seam roof
is the best roof system in the industry making leaks a problem of
What has been his recipe for success? "I am highly competitive
and have cultivated an excellent team of employees, allowing
Fleming to be self-performing. Self-performed steel erection has
been very key to our success."
But despite a successful career, he has had to overcome
obstacles. "After becoming sole owner in 1974, the specter of
bankruptcy was huge, but by being up front with all my creditors we
worked everything out with no interruption of business and left no
one unpaid once I was back on my feet," he says. "Another milestone
obstacle was when we broke up the Building Trade Council in Tulsa
after enduring picket lines for three years."
In addition to a love for metal building construction and
design, he also enjoys ranching, golf and traveling. Staying active
and sharing his talents with others, he's on the Executive Board of
Directors of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, the current
Chairman of the Infrastructure Development Advisory Board for the
City of Tulsa and even on the Board of Directors of his favorite
charity, The Gatesway Foundation.